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Kirkpatrick, R.G. (1974). Moral Indignation and Repressed Sexuality: The Sociosexual Dialectics of Antipornography Crusades. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(1):141-149.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(1):141-149

Moral Indignation and Repressed Sexuality: The Sociosexual Dialectics of Antipornography Crusades

R. George Kirkpatrick

Introduction

What is the nature of man? This philosophical question underlines every social investigation. Karl Marx gave us at least a partial answer to this query. According to Marx and Engels in The German Ideology: “Life involves, before everything else, eating and drinking, a habitation, clothing.”8 It was left to the great critical conservatism of Freud, however, to point up the critical role of sex in human life. Freud felt, “Hunger and love are what moves the world.” He stated,

Hunger could be taken to represent the instincts which aim at preserving the individual; while love strives after objects, its chief function, favoured in every way by nature, is the preservation of the species.4a

For the species, no drive could be stronger. The role of sexuality is very great for the development of civilization as well as for the preservation of the species. According to Freud:

Civilization is obeying the laws of economic necessity, since a large amount of the psychical energy which it uses for its own purposes has to be withdrawn from sexuality. In this respect civilization behaves towards sexuality as a people or a stratum of its population does which has subjected another one to its exploitation.4c

Pepressed Sexuality

What is the social function of repressed sexuality? How does it vary and how is it related to morality and ideology? Freud has given us the general notion that some suppression of sexuality is necessary for the development of civilization.

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